The Backpack

Written for Thursday 360.

If I were a normal girl, right now I would be sitting on this bench to talk to friends, having a great time.

But I wasn’t a normal girl.

I was a Christian, wanted for refusing to pray to the idol sitting lifelessly in the temple.

So instead, I sat on this bench, praying—Lord, please protect me while I do this job for You because You know what could happen if I’m caught—under my breath, trying not to notice how sweaty my hands were.

Finally, he came. The man with the backpack.

“Dionna?” He asked, using the name he was told.

I nodded and took the backpack from him. He glanced around before leaning close and whispering “God bless you and protect you.”

“And you.” I answered in the same hushed voice.

I turned and started for Pastor’s house, continuing to pray. I took shortcuts, ducking between houses and shops to see if anyone followed me. I backtracked. I watched the road behind me like a hawk.

I saw no one and slipped into Pastor’s house. Him and his wife, Chante, were waiting. I opened the backpack and silently slipped out the five books.

Pastor peeled off the paper covering the book.

A smile grew over his face.

“It’s a Bible!!” He still whispered as if the walls could hear him, but that didn’t mask the excitement in his voice.images

He passed it to me and I stared in wonder. A real Bible!!

He peeled the paper off the next book. “Songbook.” He flipped it open and started humming a song.

Chante opened the next package and pulled out a pack of pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, everything we would need to have a school.

We looked at each other and laughed, tears dripping down our faces.

Thank you, Lord.


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